Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday Night Tasting: NEBCO - Wet Willy Scotch Ale

New England Brewing Company – Woodbridge, CT

Wet Willy Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy 2011
10% ABV, 16.9 oz

In honor of our upcoming trip to Connecticut this weekend, we figured we would do our first Connecticut beer review! We picked up this bottle of Wet Willy Scotch Ale a few months ago while visiting Granite Liquors in Weymouth, MA, but since then have seen it in a few other package stores in the general area. It was not until a trip to Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont last week where we learned New England Brewing Co. (aka: NEBCO) had pulled their distribution to Massachusetts. We hope they come back soon.

Nevertheless…on to the beer!

The Wet Willy Scotch Ale pours a cloudy amber color with approximately one finger, thick, off-white head. The head retention is somewhat poor, but this is a 2011 bottle, which may have had something to do with that. The aroma is full of malty-sweetness, that features hints of caramel and toffee, which is fairly typical of Scotch Ales.

The flavor of the beer is much sweeter than anticipated. Again, this appears to be a bottle from 2011, so for a 10% beer to be this smooth it has likely mellowed a bit over time and as Sarah stated it has become “wise” since then. It is balanced with subtle hop characteristics that take a back seat to this malt forward beer style. It also has an almost syrup quality, possibly from being aged a bit. It also shares strong similarities to Scotch whisky and would pair up well with some heavier food dishes. The mouth feel is definitely full and the brew coats the entire palate with liquid goodness.

Finally, the drinkability of the beer depends on the quantity (of course) of the beer. We shared this bottle, so we each got about 8 oz or so and it was incredibly enjoyable. This was a 16.9 oz bottle, and at 10% ABV it was great to share. It is of course not impossible to enjoy an entire bottle by yourself. We feel it would be great on draft in 12 to 16 oz pours.

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